“Very well, then, I will see Hamish myself; I dare say he remembers me.”
And he did see Hamish that evening, and it was arranged between them that if the morning looked threatening, they would leave the deer alone, and would merely take the lower-lying moors in the immediate neighborhood of Castle Dare. Hamish took great care to impress on the young man that Macleod had not yet taken a gun in his hand, merely that there should be a decent bit of shooting when his guest arrived.
“And he will say to me, only yesterday,” observed Hamish, confidentially—“it wass yesterday itself he wass saying to me, ’Hamish, when Mr. Ogilvie comes here, it will be only six days or seven days he will be able to stop, and you will try to get him two or three stags. And, Hamish’—this is what he will say to me—’you will pay no heed to me, for I hef plenty of the shooting whatever, from the one year’s end to the other year’s end, and it is Mr. Ogilvie you will look after.’ And you do not mind the rain, sir? It is fine warm clothes you have got on—fine woollen clothes you have, and what harm will a shower do?”
“Oh, I don’t mind the rain, so long as I can keep moving—that’s the fact, Hamish,” replied Mr. Ogilvie; “but I don’t like lying in wet heather for an hour at a stretch. And I don’t care how few birds there are, there will be plenty to keep us walking. So you remember me, after all, Hamish?”
“Oh ay, sir,” said Hamish, with a demure twinkle in his eye. “I mind fine the time you will fall into the water off the rock in Loch na Keal.”
“There, now,” exclaimed Mr. Ogilvie. “That is precisely what I don’t see the fun of doing, now that I have got to man’s estate, and have a wholesome fear of killing myself. Do you think I would lie down now on wet sea-weed, and get slowly soaked through with the rain for a whole hour, on the chance of a seal coming on the other side of the rock? Of course when I tried to get up I was as stiff as a stone. I could not have lifted the rifle if a hundred seals had been there. And it was no wonder at all I slipped down into the water.”
“But the sea-water,” said Hamish, gravely; “there will no harm come to you of the sea-water.”
“I want to have as little as possible of either sea-water or rain-water,” said Mr. Ogilvie, with decision, “I believe Macleod is half an otter himself.”
Hamish did not like this, but he only said, respectfully.
“I do not think Sir Keith is afraid of a shower of rain whatever.”
These gloomy anticipations were surely uncalled for; for during the whole of the past week the Western Isles had basked in uninterrupted sunlight, with blue skies over the fair blue seas, and a resinous warmth exhaling from the lonely moors. But all the same, next morning broke as if Mr. Ogilvie’s forebodings were only too likely to be realized. The sea was leaden-hued and apparently still, though the booming